Author Topic: Weber Q320 Mod question  (Read 1046 times)

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Offline mikeythai

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Weber Q320 Mod question
« on: November 15, 2013, 07:37:22 PM »
Hi. I am trying to use my Weber Q320 gas grill as a pizza oven. I have a 1/2 steel plate that I tried last night with poor results. Not enough top heat. So I am planning a "roof" using 1/2 steel plate and sides.

My question is- what should the distance be between the top and bottom plates? Any links to similar projects (or any other advice) would be appreciated.

I am using steel plate because I live in Thailand and have been having a hard time finding cordierite.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 07:49:47 PM by mikeythai »


scott123

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Re: Weber Q320 Mod question
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2013, 12:27:31 AM »
Mike, steel's conductivity makes it unsuitable for grill use.  Grills, because the heat source is on the bottom, tend to bake the bottom of the pizza much faster than the top.  Because steel speeds up baking, it exacerbates this issue.

Except for perhaps a grill with a rotisserie IR burner, there's no grill configuration that could possibly make steel work as a hearth.

Cordierite would be nice, but if you can't track it down, then I'd look for flat terra cotta tiles.  Anything that's flat and ceramic, as long as it doesn't contain lead (most commonly found in glaze) will work. Even if you can get a regular flat brick, that might work, although I'd look for brick splits (1/2 the thickness), and, even with splits, it's going to be a long pre-heat/a lot of fuel.  Typically, brick splits take about 2 hours to come up to temp.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 01:08:30 AM by scott123 »

Offline mikeythai

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Re: Weber Q320 Mod question
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 06:59:53 AM »
All right. A little disappointing, good thing the plate was cheap. I visit the states often enough to get a pizza stone, or maybe I will just use a quarry tile.

If I used a quarry tile what would be the recommended distance between hearth and dome (probably 1/8 flat steel plate on top and sides)? Or would there be an advantage to using quarry tile for the dome as well?

scott123

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Re: Weber Q320 Mod question
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 01:12:43 PM »
You want to work with the least vertical space you can comfortably launch a pizza into.  Some people can launch a pizza into a 2" space, but I think 4" is probably a bit more comfortable.  I think the 2stone grill insert (now discontinued) was 4" high.

Steel is great for the dome, but... and this is the tricky part... a lot of people make the mistake of building a box with the hearth, dome and walls.  As the heat rises, the hearth completely blocks the ceiling, and the ceiling never gets hot enough.  In order for the dome to catch that upward flowing heat, it has to be larger than hearth, and there has to be a gap between the walls supporting the dome and the hearth for the hot air to flow through and collect on the ceiling.

Once you factor in the gap (minimum 1") and the thickness of the walls, on a small grill, you could be looking at a pretty tiny hearth.  You could probably get away with gaps only on the sides of the hearth and have a square-ish hearth that touches the back wall and front wall- that would help.

scott123

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Re: Weber Q320 Mod question
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 01:29:59 PM »
Also, if you can get quarry tiles, those would be ideal.  You might want to shield them with an aluminum pan so they're not in the direct line of the fire, though. And, speaking of aluminum, propane grills generally don't hit aluminum melting temps, so don't be afraid of using it.  Kenji (seriouseats) has made inroads in massless domes, such as an aluminum foil ceiling. I might try foil first, and then maybe move up to flashing if that doesn't work out. Flashing is pretty cheap, is ready available and should have enough rigidity to built a structure with.

I would take Petef's concept:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19861.0.html

and take it one step further by using a material for the ceiling with even less mass- such as flashing or light gauge steel sheet.  You don't have to mirror his folds either, just do one long, low profile curve.

Offline mikeythai

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Re: Weber Q320 Mod question
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 06:28:59 PM »
Thank Scott. That is a perfect link! Pretty sure my grill is about the same size as his, just with a different burner configuration. It's good to hear how he worked on evening out his heat during his various attemts.

And his pizzas look just like what I want to make!

Offline mikeythai

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Re: Weber Q320 Mod question
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 05:51:02 AM »
I had my dome made today. I went with thin gauge stainless, and had it bent and tack welded.

No luck with either quarry tile or cordierite, but did find some fire brick (refractory brick?). I went to the local stone shop and unfortunately they only have a really small blade on their saw. They are cutting me some 2cm thick slices of the fire brick for the hearth. They will be pretty small but should work okay if I get a rack to hold them in place. Good advice on hearth size, too. I will have room for a 13.5" hearth... I will be using 12" screens. That leaves me with a solid 2" air gap on each side of the hearth.

Did a little 5 minute test fire when I got home today. That low mass dome gets hot as blazes faaaast.

I'll get some pics of the setup when I bake the first pies.  :chef:
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 06:02:27 AM by mikeythai »


 

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